A Stranger in the House: The Open House (2018)

So on Friday the 13ths I celebrate with Horror films and pizza!

From the Supernatural episode “Monster Movie”

This year my niece joined me and I let her pick the movie we would start with and she chose Open House from Netflix.

I thought this film was interesting but I also have mixed feelings about the film. Some things I liked about it, but other things I think they could have done better.

Meh.

The film starts off with out main character Logan Wallace (Dylan Minnette), who wants to be an Olympic star and trains with his dad. They have to go out later to get milk and his father is killed when a car hits him.

That’s not good.

The family has a lot of debts and the mom can’t keep their house. Her rich sister attends the funeral and offers up her vacation home that she and her husband are trying to sell. All they have to promise is to leave when the realtors are showing the house off. Now I understand what the movie is trying to do, get them to this secluded place in the middle of nowhere, but this doesn’t make any sense. Why would the mom leave CA and whatever job she had to move to Nevada, to the middle of nowhere to stay in this fancy mansion, but one she will only be able to use until the house is sold, something that the sister wants to happen right away. I know that houses take time to close when they go into escrow but it seems weird to me that she would uproot her life and only source of income for a few months and take him out of school (it’s right before Christmas) to nowhere and then what, after a few months uproot again? Where will she go after that?

And if her sister is so rich why can’t they just stay with her?

So the Logan and his mom move to the middle of nowhere, up on top of a mountain, where the nearest neighbor is super far. While they are there, weird things start happening. A local guy, Chris, is too friendly, he borders on creepy, is always trying to talk to them and even comes over to the house randomly because he has “always wanted to see inside it”. They actually let him, and just leave him there, never checking to see if he left the house. He also keeps hitting on the mom and trying to be Logan’s friend.

Hmm…

The realtor lady who is showing the house is extremely abusive to her assistant, and terribly rude to Logan and his mom. This is a weird interaction as they could tell their sister/aunt and she could fire her and go with another company.

Then there is the next door neighbor, Martha, who although she is miles away, switches from being too friendly at times (all up in their business) to being angry and unfriendly (it turns out that she has dementia…or does she?).

Hmm…

But besides these bizarre people, even stranger things happen in the house. Such as Logan’s phone getting stolen, things keep disappearing, when the mom takes a shower the water heater keeps being turned off, they hear footsteps in the house when there is no one there.

Creepy…

Yet the relationship between the mother and son is very odd, it doesn’t quite make sense at times. Now I have worked with grieving families, I used to be part of a program where we had the parents and kids separated, allowing each family component to work on their grief separately, allowing both parents and kids the freedom to share how they felt. So I know many different types of grief and how teens and parents act. There were times when Logan and his mom interacted that were perfectly normal for grieving people, but then there are times when it is off. Such as the mother doesn’t seem to think it is weird or strange that her son’s phone has completely disappeared, even though they are the only ones in the house-only for it to turn up later on the counter in plain view. Or how this repeats with other objects and items.

Then we have the water heater issue. The mother keeps trying to take a shower and every time the hot water turns off and she is upset and yells at her son for doing it, who says he didn’t. She yells at him and marches barefoot in a towel to the frozen basement to turn it back on. She tries again to take a shower and the whole thing repeats several times before she decides to call a repairman. It made no sense why she would think her son would even do that and repeat it. He has never done anything remotely “prankster” so why would she even think he would be messing with her? If he was acting angry toward her maybe, but he doesn’t. Most of the time he sits in his room alone and sad.

Then the mom finds pictures of her sleeping and doing things, and pictures her son and she thinks he did it. I’m like how could he even take that picture of himself while he was asleep and the photo is clearly taken from the doorway. Eventually they call the police who don’t help, and it’s like really, the police would do more. But by far the thing that makes absolutely no sense is when the house gets broken into-they never call the sister and ask her to change the locks which is what I would have immediately done. I don’t understand that at all. Yes nothing that they know of was taken, but still they are in the middle of nowhere, on top of a mountain, and it takes a while for police to respond. You think changing the locks would be a good idea.

Eventually death comes for them and we know nothing about who the killer is or why they did it. It is just a stranger that likes to go to open houses and kill people. I think if this had been a short, it would be better but as a film I found it lacking.

So originally I thought that there was a person who was squatting in the house, like hiding in the basement or in the walls and I think that would have been more interesting.

So, yeah I was not a fan.

But what did I like? I LOVED that the main character wore glasses and it was accurately portrayed in the way he struggled to see in the morning, how he loses his glasses and just the way they incorporated it. I have never seen a film so accurate in its portrayal of one who wears glasses, and as one who wears glasses it made it the film scarier for me. I’m nearsighted, meaning I can’t see far away, and if I lost my glasses I’d probably end up dead (in a horror film).

As a whole, even though it had good parts, I would recommend just skipping this film.

For more Netflix films, go to People Don’t Realize That There are Killers Among Them. People They Liked, Loved, Lived With, Worked With and Admired…: Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile (2019)

For more strangers in the house, go to Have You Checked the Children?: When a Stranger Calls (1979)

Catherine Morland’s Viewing List

Happy Friday the 13th! I don’t know if you have any plans, but as for me I’m going to spend my evening with pizza and horror films.

Speaking of Horror films I have been getting ready trying to pick out which ones I’ll use for Horrorfest X, my yearly Halloween countdown, but I’ve also been going through old posts and looking at the ones from the original Horrorfest, and thinking some of these movies Catherine Morland would love as they are full of gothic-y goodness.

Unfortunately, while they occasionally have Austen tendencies and can go on my Non-Austen Films for Austen Fans list, like Rebecca, the ones I’m thinking of are more like Catherine Morland’s Reading Listthey don’t have anything to do with Jane Austen but are gothic stories Catherine would love.

Hmm…

Then I thought, why not start a new series, a list of only the good Gothic like horror films for the other Catherine Morland/Henry Tilney spooky people out there? It will only contain movies that I strongly recommend-none of the films that are poorly written or have a lot of issues. And unlike my other lists, this will be a one stop list for people looking for recommendations, while the original posts will only be done during Horrorfest.

So films on this list are going to be Gothic films or films with Gothic components. For those who are wondering what classifies something as a Gothic, here is the definition.

Gothic fiction, which is largely known by the subgenre of Gothic horror, is a genre or mode of literature and film that combines fiction and horror, death, and at times romance.

Any films I have already reviewed that fit for this list I will just list and link here, while any future film I review I will add a little specifically why it belongs on this list. I have 9 years of films I have watched/reviewed for Horrorfest, but I’m not sure how many of those will be on her. For now I’m going to put on the ones I have recently re-edited, and then will be adding more constantly. If you are looking for recommendations, be sure to check back for more:

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920)

The Phantom of the Opera (1925)

Frankenstein (1931)

The Bride of Frankenstein (1935)

The Cat and the Canary (1939)

Rebecca (1940)

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow (1949)

The Bad Seed (1956)

Psycho (1960)

Carnival of Souls (1962)

Fahrenheit 451 (1966)

Dead Again (1991)

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (2005)

The Corpse Bride (2005)

Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant (2009)

Northanger Abbey (2007)

For more movie lists, go to Non-Austen Films for Austen Fans

Jason’s Out There… Watching… Ready to Kill… Thirsty for Young Blood: Friday the 13th, Part II (1981)

And if you listen to the old-timers in town, they’ll tell you he’s still out there, some sort of demented creature, surviving in the wilderness, full grown by now… stalking…Jason’s out there… watching… always on the prowl for intruders… ready to kill… ready to devour… thirsty for young blood.

So today is Friday the 13th!

And you know what that means! Time for one of my traditions!

Suit up in Ghostbusters’ clothing!

That’s how I roll

Pick up some pizza:

And watch some horror films!!!!

And of course as this isFriday the 13th in October, you all know exactly which film I will be reviewing.

Yep, this is the whole reason why I moved all the TV episodes to Tuesdays. So I could review Friday the 13th on Friday the 13th.

I was so busy with my movie marathon:

That I wasn’t able to post my review in time. I will be updating soon though. Promise! Until then:

And if you listen to the old-timers in town, they’ll tell you he’s still out there, some sort of demented creature, surviving in the wilderness, full grown by now… stalking…Jason’s out there… watching… always on the prowl for intruders… ready to kill… ready to devour… thirsty for young blood.

So you all know how I don’t like sequels:

But I decided to watch this and surprised myself in enjoying it more than I thought.

Slow down everyone, I haven’t changed that much. I didn’t say that I loved it, but I did enjoy it a lot more than I thought I wouldSo the film starts off with a review of what happened at the end of the original Friday the 13thWhen the real killer’s identity was discovered, the fight, almost drowning in the lake, etc.

Pamela Voorhees: [high voice] Kill her, Mommy! Kill her! Don’t let her get away, Mommy! Don’t let her live!
[normal voice]
Pamela Voorhees: I won’t, Jason. I won’t!

It has been two months since then, and Alice has been horrified with nightmares and flashbacks. One night she has had a bad one when Jason comes and kills her.

Why is Jason so old? In the first one he died as a child. If he becomes a ghost/monster/zombie thingy-why is he so old? He should have stayed a child. Like in the original film.

Friday the 13th (1980)

They never say why, just that he never died fully and was living on his own in the woods hunting, etc. But if he never died, than why was his mother so angry and trying to get revenge on the people who caused her son’s death. The fact that he is still alive ruins all the motivations and stuff from the first.

I will say, that Jason may be a crazy, psycho, serial killer-but he is courteous. After he kills Alice he turns off the kettle that Alice was using to make tea. That was nice of him.

Oh, well

Five years pass and Paul is a camp director, having called in the new recruits. He’s training them in the basics before the summer season starts. They aren’t at Camp Crystal Lake, like in the original, but right next door. Paul warns them of the story of Jason, but doesn’t believe in him or the things he “did”.

The next night some of the counselors go out to party in the town bar, while others have to stay behind. Two of them got caught by the police checking out Camp Blood, one guy is in a wheelchair and in training for the olympics, one girl wants to do with the olympic guy, one girl is searching for her dog, and the last guy is there to try and make it with one of the girls. Of course, Jason starts taking them all out one by one.

The reason why I liked this film was that the characters were actually not too dumb, and you felt bad that they died. I mean there was still sex scenes (this is Friday the 13th), Vicky walks around outside in her underwear to get something from the car (why?), and one of the ladies wears a shirt and shorts that cover nothing and walks around naked for a chunk of time.

But while I only cared for like two in the other film, in this one I was sad each time they were taken out.

So sad

But then Paul and his assistant Ginny come back. I don’t know why, but Jason doesn’t kill Paul-he knocks him out. Ginny has to run from him and she is hardcore. She attacks him, tries to trick him into thinking she’s his mother, and does the final knockout. Pretty sweet!

But the end is weird. Did Paul die? Why didn’t Jason kill Ginny? What’s real and what is a dream?

To start Horrorfest VI from the beginning, go to One of Our Guests is a Werewolf, I Know It.: The Beast Must Die (1974)

For the previous post, go to A Survivor… Unclouded By Conscience, Remorse, or Delusions of Morality: Alien (1979)

For more on Friday the 13th, go to Tuesday the 17th: Psych (2009)

For more camp movies, go to Someone Very Special: The Addam’s Family Values (1993)

For more on the holiday Friday the 13th, go to Don’t Fear the Reaper

For more slasher films, go to Have You Checked the Children: When a Stranger Calls (1979)

For more serial killers, go to Is She Mrs. X?: So I Married an Axe Murderer (1993)

For more sequels, go to I Don’t Kill People Anymore: Psycho II (1983)

For more ’80s films, go to China is Here Mr. Burton. The Chang Sing, The Wing Kong, They’ve Been Fighting for Centuries: Big Trouble in Little China (1986)

Don’t Fear the Reaper

Guess What Today Is?

Fridaythe13th

At work everyone was talking about how it is a Friday the 13th, and a full moon.

attack Wolf Boy Meets World moon full moon night

I know that freaks some people out.

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So I thought I would bring you something to put you at ease:

Erik: [at the Bal Masque as "The Red Death"] Beneath your dancing feet are the tombs of tortured men! Thus does The Red Death rebuke your merriment!

(Don’t Fear) The Reaper by Blue Öyster Cult

This song was written by the lead guitarist Donald “Buck Dharma” Roeser and is about accepting the fact that we are mortal and eventually our time will end. In the song he tries to talk about how we shouldn’t be afraid, after all:
Nothing in the world certain but Death

And that when our time eventually ends the love we have with others will carry on until we can meet again on the other side.

“And then he [the third brother] greeted Death as an old friend, and went with him gladly.” J. K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

I love this song, not just for the message, but the guitar:

BacktothefutureMartyMcflyrocknrollguitarsolo

And the cowbell! I just LOVE it. It is just perfect.

And of course this song has been on countless films and TV shows, including Halloween (original and remake)

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And Supernatural.

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It is a fantastic song.

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For more on Friday the 13th, go to Who Ya Gonna Call?

For more of my musical choices, go to No Mere Mortal Can Resist the Evil of the Thriller: Thriller (1983)

For more on Jean Froissart, go to It’s A Hard World: Backfire (1950)

For more Harry Potter, go to What Separates the Real Fans from the Fakes

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So you guys know what Friday the 13th means to me. My annual tradition:

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Time to Ghostbuster up in uniform or shirts:

ghostbusters

Bring out the pizza!

PizzatheNanny

And horror films:

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Or TV shows:

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Have Frightful Night

She'll get what's coming to her.

She’ll get what’s coming to her.

Who Ya Gonna Call?

So you all know what today is!

Fridaythe13th

And you know what that means!

sensationhorrorshock_VincentPrice

Yep, every Friday the 13th I watch horror movies…

horror collage

Or horror TV shows…

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Grimm

To be perfectly honest, I love him so much I wouldn't care if he did pop up like that.

Eat pizza…

Pizza Delivery Sabrina the teenage witch

All while wearing my Ghostbuster’s T-shirt.

ghostbusters

It’ll be a great night as always! And for all you out there, remember…

horror films

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For more on Friday the 13th, go to The Horror!!!!

For more Horror fun check out Horrrorfest, I Don’t Belong in the World: Carnival of Souls (1962)

Horrorfest II, There Are Many Strange Legends in the Amazon: The Creature From The Black Lagoon (1954)

Horrorfest III, Even a Man Pure of Heart: The Wolf Man (1941)

Horrorfest IV, You Cannot Conquer It. It has Conquered You!: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931)